The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Arrests in the Middle of the Night: Police in Tanzania admit holding the Lawyer opposing DP World’s Port Deal

Advocate Boniface Mwabukusi, the lead counsel for the petitioners, who filed a legal suit challenging Tanzania Government’s decision to grant the UAE company, DP World the tender to operate Dar-es-Salaam’s Port is in the hands of the police.


Mwabukusi who together with four others have questioned the legality of the Tanzania government’s new ports management deal with the United Arab Emirates Advocate, was previously reported missing.

But the latest statement from the Tanzania Police Spokesperson, David Misime, says the force is holding Lawyer Boniface Anyasile Mwabukusi and one person identified as Mpaluka Said Nyagali, famously known as ‘Mdude,’ a well-known activist.

The Police say they are holding the two for questioning. Apparently.

According to the Police officer’s report, the two were arrested in the wee hours of Saturday, August 12, 2023 in Mikumi section of Morogoro.

Earlier on an official letter to the Press from the PAM Advocates firm of Mwanjelwa, in Mbeya Region, states that Advocate Mwabukusi and two other people were picked by unknown people in the early morning of Saturday, August 12, 2023.

Signed by Lawyer Philip Mwakilima of the Pam Advocates Commissioner for Oaths and Notaries Public, the dispatch with reference number PAM/BR/AD/08/023 says their client, Mwabukusi was together with two other persons.

Mwakilima says, their client was with Emmanuel Masonga and Mdude Nyangali, and that the trio were on their way from Mbeya, heading to Dar-es-salaam City.

Lawyer Mwakilima says the trio could have been picked up at Mikumi area in Morogoro Region by some people who identified themselves as police officials.

“The vehicle in which our client was bundled upon being picked up, headed towards Dar-Es-salaam though early reports claimed that the three were being taken back to Mbeya.

The other two persons that were picked alongside Advocate Mwabukusi are said to be members of the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), the country’s leading opposition party.

The incident was reported just two days earlier, the High Court of Tanzania at the Mbeya Registry, had dismissed a petition filed by four local supplicants who were challenging the legality of Tanzania government’s new ports management deal with the United Arab Emirates.

As it happens, Tanzania and Dubai inked a memorandum of understanding in February 2022 to allow the Dubai Port World, which is a logistics company from the United Arab Emirates, to run the port of Dar es Salaam and afterwards expand their operations to other ports in mainland Tanzania.

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